Busy weeknights were made for dinners like this! Just one pan and a 5 minute prep for a creamy, decadent, baked chicken and broccoli dinner!
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Just because I’m a food blogger and cookbook author…
…doesn’t mean that every meal is fancy. Does that surprise you? I know that sometimes when I talk to people, I feel like they are surprised that I don’t make fancy dinners every night. Behind this screen is a super real momma, with a super real 3-school-aged-kid schedule, and a super real budget. So while I do love to blog fun, new recipes to get everyone excited about eating real food, I have to remind myself sometimes to pull back to my “roots” and just blog some of my real, everyday food as well. Because *that* my dear friends is how we do real food everyday. You’ll burn out from it if you don’t have some of these really easy dinners up your sleeve!
All real food on a budget is the name of the game!
Because the real food part really does matter. Sure, we’ll do some out to dinners occasionally, or even some store bought packed snacks, but for the most part, I try to follow that whole 80/20 thing, and in my house its more like 90/10, because my experience has been that real food is actually more affordable than going out to eat, buying packaged and processed food, and even more affordable than boxed “healthy” dinners.
5 Minute Prep? Yes please!
YES, I absolutely think it is important that we *slow* down and enjoy cooking in our family kitchens again. I’m a huge advocate of the family dinner table, and going back to showing kids how to cook, where their food comes from, and the beauty of preparing food for our families. But that doesn’t always have to mean an all day slow cooked roast, or a fussy prepped lasagna. It can simply be chicken prepped with some yummy seasonings, and drenched a cream sauce that was whisked up in minutes!
The Method :: The Chicken & Broccoli
To start your dinner prep, you’ll rinse and pat dry your chicken breasts and prep them right in the pan you will be cooking in. Coat the chicken in some olive oil, and season to your liking. I left some seasoning instructions, but truthfully, this is one that I don’t measure – I’m talking grab the seasoning jars, and just sprinkle along as I go! Once the chicken is seasoned, you’ll spread the broccoli around the pan, and get the sauce made.
The Method :: The Dairy Free Cream Sauce
This is as easy as it gets! Measure it all up in your liquid measuring cup, give it a whisk, and pour it over the chicken. You can play around with the amount to your taste, and if you want more sauce, just make more! If I serve this meal with pasta, I tend to lean more toward the 2 cups of coconut milk so that my pasta has plenty of sauce to soak in.
The Method :: Baking the Chicken
Once the sauce is in the pan, you’re ready to bake. And that means you’re hands free for 25 minutes! You can either help kids with homework, boil the pasta for the chicken meal, or you can sit with a book for a few minutes! If you plan to serve your chicken with baked potatoes or sweet potatoes, just be sure you get those in the oven about 10-15 minutes before the chicken so they have enough time to get soft – I like to cut them in half or quarters to be sure they roast fast enough.
Serving this meal over your pasta of choice works so well and feels so decadent! A lot of the times, I serve over a baked potato or sweet potato, which can bake at the same temperature as the chicken. Depending on the size of your potatoes, and how you cut them, you’ll need to put the potatoes in before the chicken, I usually bake small sweet potato halves, so I put them in about 15-20 minutes before the chicken goes in, OR I bake them on a prep day and just warm them up when the chicken is cooking.
Let’s talk real life
Because I want you to actually make this! Earlier this week, I shared to my Instagram how I prepped this chicken dinner before I left to pick kids up from school. The beauty of a recipe like this is that it can be prepped a day or so in advanced, and put in the fridge until you need it. I prepped the pans for this dinner, left to get the kids, and came home to pop it in the oven. You can also bake this meal off, and eat lunch off from it all week long, dear momma. THIS is how we can get real food into real life mommas, my friends!
Creamy Baked Chicken & Broccoli
For the Chicken & Broccoli ::
- 4 boneless chicken breasts rinsed & pat dry
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- ½ to 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ to ½ tsp sweet paprika
- ½ tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 head of broccoli florets
For the Dairy Free Cheesy Cream Sauce ::
- 1 ½ – 2 cups coconut milk
- 2-3 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 – 2 tbsp tapioca starch Depending on how thick you want the sauce
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp sea salt
- Pinches of black pepper to taste
- Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Put the chicken into a 9×13 baking dish, and coat with the olive oil. Sprinkle the seasonings evenly over the top – no I don’t typically mix the seasonings separately, and I don’t usually even measure. This is just sprinkle and go on a busy day for me 😊
- Place the broccoli florets around the chicken in the pan, nesteling it down on the sides of the chicken and around the pan.
- In a liquid measuring cup, measure out your coconut milk, and then add in the rest of the Cream Sauce ingredients. Whisk the cream sauce to combine right there in the liquid measuring cup, and then pour the sauce over the chicken and broccoli
- Bake the chicken, uncovered, for 25 – 30 minutes depending on the thickness of your chicken. Chicken is supposed to have an internal temperature of 165 degrees, so I tend to take it out around 160 degrees, and let it continue cooking to the 165 while it rests. No I don’t tend to take the temperature, but you can!
- Once the chicken is done baking, let the pan rest about 5 minutes or so before cutting so the juices have a chance to redistribute back into the chicken.
- Serve your creamy baked chicken & broccoli over your choice of pasta, baked potato, or sweet potato! See the Notes section for tips on baking the potatoes at the same time as the chicken.
- You can swap the coconut milk for whole milk or cream if you can have the dairy. I’m not sure how almond milk would taste, but it should still make a good cream sauce if you prefer that.
- You can swap the chicken breast for chicken thighs if that is what you have, or you prefer that taste – you’ll just want to pull the cook time down to about 15-20 minutes since those are smaller.
- You can swap the tapioca starch for arrowroot starch, potato starch, or corn starch. If you leave the starch out, you will not get a creamy sauce – it will be runny.
- Serving suggestions! Serving this meal over your pasta of choice works so well and feels so decadent! A lot of the times, I serve over a baked potato or sweet potato, which can bake at the same temperature as the chicken. Depending on the size of your potatoes, and how you cut them, you’ll need to put the potatoes in before the chicken, I usually bake potato halves, so I put them in about 15-20 minutes before the chicken goes in, OR I bake them on a prep day and just warm them up when the chicken is cooking.
More real food recipes you might like ::
- 30 Minute Mini Meatloaves & Sheet Pan Veggies
- Easy One Pan Paleo Chicken Divan
- 20 Minute Sheet Pan Hawaiian BBQ Chicken & Veggies
- One Pan Skillet Chicken & Creamy Basil Pasta
- 30 Minute Sheet Pan BBQ Chicken Thighs & Roasted Veggies
- One Pan Skillet Stuffed Peppers
- One Pan Copycat Hamburger Helper
- 10 Minute Sheet Pan Fish Tacos
- Sheet Pan GF Chicken Nuggets
- Sheet Pan Spatchcock Maple Mustard Chicken & Roasted Veggies
- 20 Minute Sheet Pan Steak Fajitas
- Sheet Pan Fish N Chips